Orchestras alive and thriving across the country

Last May at the RPS Music Awards, Orchestras Live won the Audiences and Engagement Award for Classically Yours, their multi-orchestra, multi community project in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

They had an incredibly busy summer celebrating their achievement and bringing more music to communities all over the country. We hear from Jane Macpherson, their Communications Strategist about what they got up to… 

East Riding Youth Dancers receiving RPS award
East Riding Youth Dancers meet the RPS Music Award silver lyre!

Orchestras Live has been living its motto this summer – orchestras are for everyone – as we’ve criss-crossed the country bringing classical orchestral music to communities everywhere. It got off to an early start when we won the RPS Audiences and Engagement Award for Classically Yours. It’s a great example of how live orchestral music can connect dispersed communities, inspiring the young and rejuvenating the older . Continue reading “Orchestras alive and thriving across the country”

Live Music is…

RPS Executive Director, Rosie Johnson ponders what makes live music, and the RPS Music Awards, so special.

…contemplative, challenging, restorative, shared.

I nearly missed out on classical music. From a very early age my parents regularly took me to services at Canterbury Cathedral where my elder brothers were choristers. I was intoxicated by the music that I heard them sing, hugely impressed by the ritual and, let’s be honest, the idea of boarding school.

I just assumed that I would follow in their footsteps. When it was explained that I didn’t fit the brief, I came to a simple and, from my perspective, rather devastating conclusion: classical music was for boys.

It is easy to feel excluded from classical music….

Square_Cornwall_Live_Concert_(c)_Philharmonia

….sometimes it’s the language used to describe it, or musical one-upmanship, where those without an encyclopaedic knowledge of repertoire or performance history are deemed unable to fully appreciate what they hear. And sometimes, there are more fundamental barriers: economic, social, cultural, disability… or (and it seems surprising to be writing this in the 21st century) being born a girl. And yet, music is the most embracing of art forms, and live music, by offering bespoke, yet collegiate experiences to both audiences and performers, is the most inclusive of the lot.

The winners of this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards will be announced on Tuesday 9 May. This awards ceremony is the only time each year that we celebrate the transformative, joyous experience of live music in the UK, in all its variety; those wondrous fleeting moments that are gone in a minute, but linger in the mind forever. And it’s this transient quality, a uniqueness that comes from unrepeatable listening, that sets live performance apart from recorded music. Recordings can capture that moment in time, but by allowing us to repeat it, over and over, a little of the magic of ‘liveness’ is lost….”

Read the full blog on BBC Music Magazine

More about the RPS Music Awards

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